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Jul 7, 2011

FC Twente stadium roof collapses

A roof at FC Twente's Grolsch Veste stadium has collapsed and one person has died with 16 others injured as renovation work was taking place at the Dutch club.

Peter den Oudsten, the mayor of Enschede, stated during a press conference that one person lost their life and ten were taken to hospital with two in a serious condition after two support beams buckled.

A local government spokeswoman for the city of Enschede said: "There are 14 people injured and unfortunately there is one fatal injury, in addition to the 14 injuries. Ten people were treated in hospital and two of those people were severely injured. The exact nature of the injuries I cannot tell you at the moment."

Asked about the possibility of people still being trapped, the spokeswoman added: "Everyone is out to our knowledge. People are still searching with dogs and specialist camera teams, but that is as an extra precaution, a double-check."

Ilse Hoekstra, a spokeswoman on the scene, later added that two further injured people had made their own way to hospital suffering from bone fractures, taking the total known number of injured to 16.

The news first broke on Twitter, with some people posting pictures of the scene and FC Twente posted a statement on their official website which read: ''During the renovation work at the Grolsch Veste the roof of the building collapsed. Our thoughts are with everyone involved.''

De Grolsch Veste, or The Grolsh Fortress, was extended to a capacity of 24,000 in 2008. It was being extended again ahead of the new season, to a capacity of 32,000.

Twente are not due to play at De Grolsch Veste until August 13 when they entertain AZ Alkmaar, and they will also have a Champions League qualifier to host later that month.

Twente president Joop Munsterman said last month: "We have put a lot of private money in the expansion of the stadium, as we play next season in front of 30,000 men in the Grolsch Veste."

Twente chairman Joop Munsterman announced on Thursday evening that the pre-season tour of New Zealand, which would have featured a game against the national team, has been cancelled.

"We wish everyone who is affected in any way a lot of strength and in particular we express our condolences to the families of the deceased," he told the club's official website. "It is therefore impossible for us to continue our training camp in New Zealand and we cannot play against New Zealand.

"We did not want to remain such a distance from what happened today. The open day on July 17 will not occur and the other events in the stadium will not proceed until further notice."

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